Ginger Cating has been such a special presence in our studio for over 12 years (since her “gym rat” days of working out for 2 hours, 3x/week were wreaking havoc on her poor old joints), and we are delighted to share her story today.

How often do you practice?

2-3x/week at Bikram Yoga and 1x/week at Hot Yoga Downtown.  My body craves some variety but Bikram Yoga (my annual membership) is where I head to when something in my body is bothering – my body craves the consistency of Bikram to work out whatever is hurting.

What does Bikram Yoga do to help you outside of your practice?

I’m much calmer, centered and focused, and I sleep better with a consistent practice.

What postures do you love (or struggle with)?

I love all backbends and any posture that releases tension in my upper back and shoulders, like half tortoise and rabbit pose.

Standing head to knee is the bane of my existence.  Because of chronic stiffness/tension in my upper back and shoulders, this posture has become even more challenging as time goes on.  It’s been years since I could interlace my fingers or get my head to my knee without bending the standing leg, so my focus each practice is on breathing, staying in the posture, keeping that damn standing leg straight (with lots of reminders from teachers) and hoping my screaming back and shoulders aren’t disturbing nearby yogis.

Tell us about your experience in the yoga room.

My most memorable experience is the first time I got through class without sitting or lying down…it took a year!  My difficulty has been making my ego take a backseat…seeing/feeling the changes in my body over the years has been difficult at times.  I know yoga has slowed down those inevitable changes but, still…sigh…

Anything else?

Yoga is as essential to my life as breathing, eating, my spiritual practice of “A Course in Miracles” and taking a bubble bath every night.  This 90-minute moving meditation has kept me sane and gotten me through some incredibly stressful times including being forced out of a job I thought I’d retire from, the passing of family members and my best friend, and the end of a 20-year relationship; and it continues to keep me sane while enhancing all the new and wonderful things that are happening every day in my life.